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The Spectrum Management Authority (SMA), the government agency mandated to ensure the efficient management of the radio frequency spectrum, has acquired a US$1.6 million automated spectrum management system (ASMS).
“The radio frequency spectrum provides the medium for wireless communications and is of fundamental importance to the people and Government of Jamaica.
The system we are acquiring is in keeping with our objective to deliver world class service to our clients, while maximizing the use of the spectrum,” said Minister of Commerce, Science and Technology Phillip Paulwell today (February 7).
Mr. Paulwell was speaking at the contract signing with the United States based provider – TCI – at the Ministry in Kingston.
The Minister informed that the system would provide the SMA with the tools to manage the radio spectrum efficiently, and facilitate the provision of secure and high quality radio communications to the users of radio spectrum in Jamaica.
The ASMS is an integrated software that provides administrative and engineering analysis functions. The administrative functions range from licensing and fee management to interference complaints management.
According to the Minister, the system would act as the central repository for all licensing, application, co-ordination and interference report information. “It will also facilitate technical analysis and planning of radio frequency assignments, and evaluation of field measurements,” he informed.
The ASMS includes four main components – Application Processing, which automates the process for licence application; Licence Processing, which handles the process of issuing, modifying and renewing licences; Financial Processing, which performs fee calculations and automatically generates invoices; and Engineering Analysis, which provides analysis tools for various telecommunication systems and GIS tools for digital mapping and terrain/elevation modelling.Meanwhile, the Radio Monitoring and Direction Finding System consists of a central monitoring and control centre and remote sites (fixed, transportable and mobile), to monitor radio signals and locate the source of signal. It also assists with the assignment of radio frequencies by providing information about the existing radio frequency environment.
“Today, we are making one giant step forward in our delivery of service in the management of Jamaica’s airwaves. It is a step which is vital to the development of our country in its journey towards world-class communication,” Mr. Paulwell said.
The Minister also used the opportunity to announce that the awarding of new cellular licences would not take place as scheduled, as they were unable to receive bids for the new awards. “In fact, what we will be doing is to start a process of negotiation with four companies that have now expressed interest but were adamant that they would not participate in a conventional bidding system, so we intend to do those negotiations and the public will be advised very shortly on the outcome,” he noted.
Managing Director of the SMA, Ernest Smith, informed that the acquisition of such a system would provide facilities, which does not exist anywhere in the Caribbean at this time.
Colin Campbell, Chairman of SMA, pointed out that the entire project was funded entirely by the SMA without having to draw from the Consolidated Fund.
“We have tried over the last two years to save towards this project and we think it is an achievement of the Board, management and staff,” he said.